Wrong. VENDORS support drivers that work with Windows.

Story: Windows Supports More Hardware than Linux, Just Not as WellTotal Replies: 3
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Nov 10, 2005
8:12 AM EDT
Most people believe that Windows supports more hardware devices than Linux. This is absolutely positively false. Windows does have support for some hardware out of the box, but it quickly falls behind since Windows does not release driver updates for everything. The truth is that with Windows you get a base OS with some driver support for traditional hardware and everything else, you go to the vendor.

The amazing thing about Linux is the number of hardware devices that are supported out of the box. And many of those a supported by the Linux community and NOT by the vendor.

When the xyzzy chipset comes out with the abcdefg quad-core CPUs and the super1234 bus controller, I can guarantee you that Windows will not install on the platform as-is. Linux is allowed to evolve without the incumbrances that Windows faces with its closed lock-in (while locking others out) model.

Nov 10, 2005
11:11 AM EDT
Chris, I think the author of the article was right. He did not limit himself to device drivers that came with the Windows CD. Windows does supports more devices than Linux. For example, I wanted a firewire card myself recently and Computer Geeks had two cheap PCI cards. Both were supported under Windows and only one worked in Linux. So, I chose the good one. It was no hardship, but in that case Windows had two to one more supported cards. When I set up wireless lan cards, I have to be careful, because many cards are not supported under Linux, but virtually everything runs in Windows. Linux support has gotten good enough that it is easy to put together a fully supported box nowadays, if you pay attention. But, with Windows as the dominant OS at the moment, almost no hardware vendor will ignore them.

Nov 11, 2005
8:05 AM EDT
What makes more devices work with Windows is the vendors, not M$.

It is an incorrect statement to say that Windows supports more hardware (in general). IMHO, Linux supports more vendor devices out of the box than Windows does.

As I alluded to, and have had happen to me, it is very easy/possible to buy hardware that Windows won't even install on. My E7505 based motherboard was a perfect example. XP SP1 could not deal with the board and the U320-2 RAID controller out of the box. Windows only accepts outside driver loads at install time via floppy... which is a real pain if you don't have a floppy.

Obvioulsy most don't see this since most will be given an OEM Windows CD with the platform for which the vendor of the platform as preloaded the necessary drivers for the given platform.

This kind of thing just isn't the Linux way. Sure, it does mean a gazillion drivers in Linux... but usually a better installation experience.


Nov 11, 2005
8:17 AM EDT
cjcox -

It doesn't matter where the drivers come from (though install time might say otherwise). What matters is people can buy devices and put them on their computers.

In a sense, you could argue that Microsoft's strategy is brilliant: essentially they get the benefit of an army of professional programmers without having to pay them a dime. Better yet..to get that Microsoft Certified label, they get paid!!!

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